Get rid of all the things – Part VII

A few days ago I finally got rid of my largest and heaviest piece of furniture. For years a beautiful wood china cabinet had to be loaded and unloaded any time we moved. It displayed all of our wedding china and silverware. Now of course I have no need or use for such things. As is the way with minimalism, you get rid of that which is no longer useful or ceases to bring joy. As a widowed man, living alone, I can think of no occasion where I would need to pull out “the good china”.

And so, having fully embraced the idea of owning as little as possible, without any hesitation, and after lowering the selling price to a pathetic amount, I watched as this heirloom went out the door and onto the floor on the buyer’s flatbed trailer.

There are still many thing with which I need to part but I am not placing any pressure on myself to meet any deadlines. As it becomes convenient to find homes for the rest I will do so. Recently a coworker casually mentioned that she was about to shop for a large crockpot. Having replaced mine with a much smaller version, I was delighted to give her the large one, making both of us happy.

When a lounge chair broke a couple of weeks ago, although I was momentarily disappointed that I could no longer use it, I admit total satisfaction as I dumped it into the trash. An armchair that I am still using will stay until I no longer live in my current apartment. The same goes for an old school desk that is somewhat of an antique. The chair will find a home with one of my kids and so will the desk. For now neither is in my way. It won’t be long before the washer becomes non-functional after which I have no problem seeking out a local laundromat. There are no plans to burden myself with a replacement.

I’ve made so much progress since starting this journey and in a relatively short time. I could see where this lifestyle is not for everyone. I am glad to find it is working so well for me.

More to come soon.

Get rid of all the things – Part III

Little things count. Bags of clothes sent to Goodwill, community centers and drop boxes count. Seldom used household items and non-sentimental trinkets are all candidates for the downsizing process. Garage and yard sales lose their attraction. Instead of looking at them with the thought of what treasure you might find, you long for the day when you can have your own sale. Everything I see now causes me to question its long term utility. It is a change in my thinking that I wasn’t expecting.

One must be a bit careful. It can become easy to look at everything as expendable. I’m not quite ready for that. Getting rid of something only to find I would need it will cost me in the end. That is one benefit of starting a purge while there is no hurry. A time will come when I am ready to move into a smaller space and the need to get rid of stuff will be more urgent. By that time, I expect to have much less than I do now so that the process is not overwhelming.

The last things you should get rid of are clothes, tools and cooking items. At least that is what I am thinking right now. I am not following a particular plan but taking bits and pieces of what others are doing. Some of the people I’ve read are over the top and into lifestyles that are not of interest to me. I am not a vegan, yoga practitioner or tree hugger. I am not interested in eating bugs, hunting my own food or growing a garden. The nomadic lifestyle is somewhat alluring, offering the opportunity to see different places and not be tied down to one location and climate.

Having lost my wife has made it easier to get rid of material things. When you no longer have the person who means the most to you, everything else’s value decreases. Of course I am not talking about people. Inanimate objects no longer hold the appeal they once did. And so we can more easily part with them.

Stay tuned for more on my path to smallness.

 

Celebrating the “Holiday”?

While we will never be certain of the date Jesus was born, everyone who celebrates December 25th as Christmas must realize and acknowledge the truth.  Just like all other birthdays, there is only one explanation for this one.

Christmas

We know it as Christmas but this takes nothing away from the fact that it is the birthday celebration of one man, Jesus Christ. We also celebrate other birthdays on a national level: Martin Luther King and George Washington.  Every president’s birth is recorded in history books.  On Facebook we all get lots of Happy Birthdays on our special day.  No one would begrudge anyone of a cake with candles, a favorite meal, and a gift or card on his or her birthday.  Google changes their logo but not to anything related to Jesus. A tree or Santa is the symbol of Christmas for the internet.

In workplaces there are often balloons and banners attached to the cubicle or desk of whose ever birthday it may be.  On Christmas Day, most people do not have to work even if they are alleged atheists. You never hear stories of people insisting on going in to work because they don’t believe in Jesus.

Yet, despite all of this recognition of the “Holiday” there are many who would fight and argue to remove manger scenes, references to Jesus and even the word Christmas itself from the celebration and turn it into something completely unrelated.

Seasons or Holiday Greetings is now the politically correct term for Christmas.  (More on political correctness in future posts.)

Every retailer enjoys the fruits of Christmas now starting even before Thanksgiving which also now has become a celebration of eating rather than thanking God for His blessings (more on that next November).  We give more honor to Halloween that Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter.

Black Friday used to start the day after Thanksgiving when retailers could look forward to major profits. It’s long been forgotten that they owe their thanks to Jesus.

I wonder how many people would be okay if on their birthday instead of “Happy Birthday” they were greeted with “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holiday”.  Why not?  Society has done it to the birthday of Jesus.  What makes anyone else’s birthday so special and immune?  Is there anyone else in history who has had so much controversy besides this one?  Is there anyone else whose name causes so must debate and intolerance especially on his or her birthday?  Please name one.

Most children have made lists and will unwrap presents having no idea why?  For them it is toy replenishment day. That’s about it.  What a loss. They will watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and adults will watch Hallmark Christmas specials but only a few will bother to remember the Star of Bethlehem and the Nativity.

Many will say that Christmas is a season, a time of good will and being cheerful and kind to one another.  It must evolve from the celebration of the birth of the Son of God and be made into something non-spiritual that breaks past the boundaries of religion and exclusion.  They will say that it must diversify and not offend anyone of another faith.  Try that out on your own birthday.

There is nothing wrong with sharing meals together, eating cookies and exchanging gifts. But for me and I hope for many others, December 25th will always be about His birthday.  Happy Birthday Jesus!

Happy Birthday Jesus 3

Happy Birthday Jesus